Sunil worried about calculations

UI/UX Challenge 

Attempt it. Use your design process and then based on my teaching philosophy, let us argue and solve the problem.

I am glad to release one of the classic assignment I give to students in my class. This assignment is designed in a manner so that the student experiences the holistic nature of problem-solving.

Is this a UI or a UX problem, can you clarify? 
Personally, I do not differentiate between UI and UX*.  Both inform and complement each other. I consider them inseparable. If you don’t have an understanding of either, you cannot envisage a holistic design outcome. I have presented a problem for you to figure out the solution. Use all your theories. When you feel confident, then I shall pitch in with queries. This is the way, I teach. 

The stated problem poses a question of what kind of user interface (artefact) you will design for Sunil, and what will be the associated experience it will generate. I have designed a scenario for this assignment sitting in my office. Everything in the problem is crafted so you can experience real-world problem-solving in a classroom setting. The scenario is purely hypothetical and revolves around an imaginary character Sunil, who is in trouble. You are his saviour. 

Help Sunil.
Save his job.
*The term user interface (UI) was coined by Tom Stewart in 1975 and the term user experience (UX) by Don Norman in 1988. Whenever the examples for these terms are cited to differentiate, UI is understood as the design of visual elements (the appearance) and UX is concerned with the interaction of the user with the product (experience it generates) largely in an interactive world. But UI and UX are not limited to interactions. Designers work in varied domains and the broadness of it should be acknowledged. As a designer you should not treat them separate, you can be weak or strong in one of them. But, there should be no question of choice if you consider yourself as a ‘thinking designer’ and a problem solver, for who is worried about the whole, rather than the sum of its parts.

“Simpler the assignment,
more challenging it is”.
– Mandar Rane

Common reaction once I share the assignment

After students read the assignment, they say, “we read it but what has to be done”. You might encounter the same question? The answer to this question depends on, how you define and understand the meaning of the word ‘Design’. 

Have you attempted to define ‘Design’? I did not say ‘Design Thinking’. If we apply the design thinking process to this problem what would be the outcome. I mean we follow the process empathize, define, ideate, prototype and test. 
This is what we will do in this assignment with me. You follow the process with me and we learn during the journey. 

Try also defining what is an interface and what is an experience that it creates? For time being drop the term user, because in a design task he is ubiquitous. Actually, we tend to forget about his needs while designing.
Consider this assignment as an opportunity or read about an alternate method to brainstorm UI/UX for hypothetical scenarios here.

Preview + Download:

Last updated: 8 APR. 2020
Free Download // Contains the PDF of the assignment.
ASSIGNMENT DIFFICULTY LEVEL
Very Difficult
90%
ASSIGNMENT DESIGN
Mandar Rane
Prof. Mandar Rane
Communication Design
Faculty IDC, IIT Bombay
AUDIENCE
Primary Audience:
// Communication Designers + Interaction Designers 
Secondary Audience:
// Non-designers keen on learning UI/UX core principles to be put into practice.
PREREQUISITES

1. Knowledge of basic typography
2. Awareness of elements and principles of design 
3. Visual Order - Rationalizing grammar of design decisions 
OBJECTIVE 

- The focus of this course is to improve one's ability to identify a design problem.
- Understand the factors that directly or indirectly influence the design problem.
- Design methodology – Study in the phases of the process from analysis through synthesis and evaluation.
- To be able to develop a mindset for inquiry from the user perspective.
Credits
Cover illustration: Think Vectors by Vecteezy